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Goal setting in the new year

 

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe that were this far into January! The month has flown by! Still waiting on that major snow storm to roll through, but I’m happy to report that it’s been a very nice winter so far and I’ll take it!

Since it’s a new year I’ve gotten out my passion planner and am trying to brainstorm and think of the goals that I want to achieve this year, and not only knitting goals but also the get healthy fitness goals, as everyone always thinks about at the beginning of a new year.  I also have been listening to the podcast from Rachel Hollis regarding the ‘Start Your Today’ Journal, which is all about goal planning and dreaming big and words of gratitude and setting your intention for the day and just kind of taking a reflection of how you want to grow.

I’ve been thinking about this from my brand perspective for Peacocks and Purls and where I want to take that. Ya know, in dreaming big, I always talk about someday wanting to own a retail shop that’s not just a yarn shop but a knitting place, a boutique, maybe even coffee shop, someplace to gather and do all the things that I love.  Well… it being my own entrepreneurship.  Grow my own brand… having local Knitters contribute their talents, a place where they can showcase their hand knits. A place that non-knitters can buy hand-knit gifts for friends and love ones.   I noticed that this is the main dream… the main goal. I’d also have my website grow, a place that you could order online if you’re not local.  I just really got starting to dream and am sinking into it, trying to decide what my goals are for at least this year.  And like they say, you know, it’s a big big goal to take on, but how do you eat an elephant?… one bite at a time.  So I’m working really hard at trying to set goals, set intentions, you know.. and I’m wondering if you’re doing the same thing… and if you do that in January do you set your goals for the whole year? Do you even think about that? Is it something that you stick with it or do you, you know… Crash and Burn by June cause that’s kind of where I go… Just let me know in the comments what your goal planning is, if you goal plan for the whole year, and how you tackle that…I’m curious to know!

 

I’ve been joining with the girls to knit a lot the last couple of months… as you know we started a knitting podcast… we are The Knitters Are Here We get together just to sit and knit and chat and bullshit and have girl time.  I think we all need that.. don’t you agree??  Girl time it’s a great thing!

Speaking of girl time I just got together with my sisters-in-laws to celebrate a birthday and we had facials at our favorite place called Facial Impressions in Medina Ohio.. thank you Amber for the awesome facial! Then we went out and had dinner and it’s just a great time, again to get with your girlfriends and just chat and spend an hour or more just chatting and having a good time socializing with wine!

So I’ve been working on a few knitting projects… I took on two different test knit projects… both hats. One is a cabled hat called the ISE hat…you can catch more about that on the Knitters are here podcast or through my personal podcast PeacocksandPurls on YouTube… and then the other hat that I test knit is the City Lights hat for tifneilan_handknits on Instagram… it was such an easy  and fun knit with a beautiful outcome!

Both hats are available for purchase – there is only one of each. Scroll to the bottom to find purchasing options.

City Lights Hat
ISE Hat

There are the other knitting things that I’m working on…. our new years eve cast on sweater with the girls.  We’re all doing the same sweater but different colors obviously… the Navelli by Caitlin Hunter and it’s slow going… I’m at the bottom of the sweater still…. it’s a knit from the bottom up and the bottom part is all color work so it’s a little slow going… because I’m also working on sample knitting for the professional Knitters course that I’m taking through the Knitting Guild. 

Navelli Sweater
Navelli Sweater

It’s a course that you knit sample swatches and you turn them in and you have them graded by an instructor who then critiques and gives you feedback about your work and at the end of the course you get a certificate to be a professional knitter!  Which really doesn’t mean a whole lot other than you’ve had someone to look at your own hand knitting and tell you what you are or aren’t doing correctly and the certificate helps when you’re doing test knits to show that you can knit and you can put it on your knitting resume that you are a professional Knitter, you’ve learned the trade, you educated yourself, and you know what you’re doing… so the designer can be confident in hiring you as a test Knitter knowing that you’ll understand where they’re coming from.  I’ll include photos here of the two test knit hats that I did.  I cannot include photos of the sample swatches from the course because part of the criteria is that you’re not allowed to take pictures and share it via social media or anything like that… so sorry! When I finished the course I might be able to give you a little sneak peek but at this point it’s a no no….

I’m still working on getting my knitting Studio at the point where I like it… my studio is sort of like my walk in closet too, where I get dressed in the morning… so it’s a dual-purpose room and I’m really trying to make it into something that seems to be solely dedicated to my knitting, to my business… so the aesthetic I’m looking for is clean and white and I just feel like it’s very cluttered, because there is so much “stuff” in an itty bitty living space…. (I just watched Aladdin last night lol)….  I’ll try to include some pics of the studio here – but let’s be honest and upfront….its a mess!

If you are interested in purchasing either hat, you can find those options below…

Well… back to my knitting and my boring full-time job at the medical office……

Til then Love….

City Lights Hat

This is a child sized hand knit hat. For ages 3-6yrs Blues & Greens

$30.00

ISE Cabled Hat

This is my recent test knit hat with cables. Sized child/teen

$40.00

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Will Travel for Yarn…

Yes, I will travel for yarn….or wait….I mean I’ll ride along in the car…for yarn…. (thank you Crystal for driving all over Ohio for yarn!)

My good friend Crystal and I went on our second day for a yarn tour…we went to four stores this time…more “local” to us…

We went to The Designing Women yarn shop, Crochet Innovations, Long Tail Knits, and Harps & Thistles Yarn Emporium.

Of course we found something at each and every shop!  Each store had a little bit of standard, everyday yarns and unique hand-dyed yarns…which was really great to see.  We have now come to the decision that a yarn shop needs to have a bit of everything…local yarns, hand dyed yarns, everyday yarns, classes, demonstrations, etc.  I’m taking notes…because someday, my goal is to own my own yarn shop!

Here are the photos I took of these stores…I somehow forgot to take many photos because my eyes glass over when I see yarn!  We still have 9 more stores to go to yet before we finish the tour….we are hoping to get them all in one day – do you think we can do it??  Cross your fingers!!

 

 

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What am I knitting now?

I’m working on hats!  I’ve had several requests for custom made hats….. so I’m making several of each in different yarns.   Pom Pom hats and slouchy hats seem to be the rage right now.

Here is a completed slouchy hat in soft pink – I love this hat and may make one for myself!!

 

Buying from me…

I’ve had several ask how to get a hand knit item from me…well… its easy!

You can visit my Etsy shop by clicking SHOP above and order online, you can go to Marigold Salon, Spa, & Marketplace and touch & try on my items there, or you can email or private message me to place a custom order.  Payment is cash or credit via PayPal or square if in person.  Its that easy!  So just let me know what I can knit for you!

Til then Love…

 

 

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Local Yarn Hop Shop

So September brought the month of the Yarn Discover Tour….this is also the month my credit card died….while I smiled about it!

Yarn Discovery Tour

What is the tour you ask….well…..happy to tell you!

The Yarn Discovery Tour provides fiber enthusiasts the opportunity to visit 19 amazing yarn shops throughout Northeast Ohio.

To find out more information for the tour in 2019…click here for their website.  You purchase a passport with all the yarn shops and get a souvenir bag, to which you collect pins at each store and put on your bag.  Oh my gosh!  That part alone is a blast!!  My two friends and I decided, plotted, and planned how and when we were going to achieve hitting up ALL 19 stores….we spent 4 days in September to drive around Ohio and buy all the stuff!

Over the next few blogs, I’ll share with you what I bought and saw and what my favorite yarn shops are!

The first two days we went to 7 shops.

Black Locust Farms in Lodi – Artist Gallery Yarn in N.Canton – Bare Naked Wools in Canton – Knit Wit Knits in Salem – The Flaming Ice Cube in Boardman – Gwen Erin Natural Fibers in Hubbard – and Yarn Works LTD in Niles.

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You can find all the website links via the Yarn Discovery Tour website by clicking here

Black Locust IS my local yarn shop and the owner, Cathy, is amazingly helpful!  She asked about what projects we are working on and showed us what yarns she had available to fit the pattern!  She carried a ton of our favorite yarn brands and has a very inviting atmosphere!  I highly recommend you visit her shop!

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Artist Gallery Yarns has a large area for group knitting and a large selection of yarns.

Bare Naked Wools was another favorite!  It was tiny but very appealing!  Anne Hanson is the owner of the shop and the designer.  This shop is all about the “naked” undyed wools.  Here is a link to an interview with Anne by Kristy Glass Knits on YouTube.

The Flaming Ice Cube yarn shop was interesting in that they also have a vegan cafe in the shop!  They carried a lot of the modern new indie dyed yarns and lots of other odds and ends.

Gwen Erin Natural Fibers.. the owner is the most adorable and bubbly person! Gwen Brown is the owner, dyer, spinner, knitter, felter, and weaver.  She hand spins her own line of yarns and has a variety of notions available… she also teaches spinning and knitting at her shop…oh, and google insists that she’s a computer store….the address is correct – go with it!

Knit Wits Knits

Yarn Works LTD

We had a great time… two more days planned for the yarny adventure! Here is my yarn haul!

I have some specifics planned for most of the yarn, and some the yarn just screamed at me to buy it!…so I did!

Till then love…

 

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A Lazy August

Augusts are always a bit of a sleepy month for me… this August was fun-filled, but still sleepy…

I am cross-fitting as you can see from above… I did have a lot of Personal Records this month!  Working on balance and strength… getting stronger is my goal…. I actually managed to make it there 6 days in a row, and by completing all the Girl WODs that week  I won a drawing for some free Fit-Aid apparel…fun!

Celebrated a wedding between two of my good running friends….  I was great to see all my friends from our Turtle Running Club…. my good friend Sara and I hamming it up!

 

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My sister’s little girl Della Ray is doing well…growing a lot…. I miss her, wished they lived closer to me…  She’s such a cutie and I can see a little personality in her already.

 

My hubby and I went to Akron for PorchRokr…. its was such a cool outing…

What is PorchRoker?

“Highland Square’s annual PorchRokr Music and Art Festival transforms the verandas of one of Akron’s most historic and eclectic neighborhoods into one-day art studios and concert venues. Thousands of locals and out-of-towners rock out to some 130 diverse musicians and artists, using both area residences and business establishments as their personal stage. The festival rotates each year among four sections of Highland Square to encourage spontaneous interaction among all its neighbors.”

We had such a great time…. the local bands were great and the atmosphere of walking around and listening to different bands was sweet!  The food was great too!  We got this mega-huge burger from A Twist of Leona…so good!  Didn’t get any ice cream though, but we did get all the beer!

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I’m knitting up a storm!  My turtle running & knitting friend Crystal, and I joined a Knit Along (KAL) with Kristy Glass Knits and Stitch and Hustle using Asylum Fibers Yarn kit… its becoming a beautiful shawl!  The yarn is soo squishy! We have our regular Sip & Knit days to meet up and knit together… I love this time!

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I finished up the legwarmers/yoga socks I was working on…they are now available at Marigold Salon Spa & Marketplace…you should go…check it out…snap them up!

Well… that about sums up my August….how about yours?

Whats on the docket for September?  YARN DISCOVERY TOURS!  Yes!  Crystal, Jennifer, and I are planning to visit 19 yarn shops throughout North East Ohio….its a knitting adventure!!!  and there will be new yarn purchases and patterns and accessories…I’m soo excited!!

Till then love…

 

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A Yarn Obsession

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A beer, my knitting, and my dog…..priceless

So I’ve been knitting away at my Cerulean Mist Shawl by Kylen Tennies.  In between that I’ve been working on baby items…. because my sister’s baby is due next month!

 

The Cerulean Mist shawl is a really easy knit up…  I chose the two yarns I bought at the Pittsburgh Fiber Festival from the Yarn Byrds yarn truck.  They are Spun Right Round Classic sock yarn in the color ‘Combat boots and Baby Doll Dresses’ (a wonderful name!)  Its a speckle yarn in yellows & pinks.  The other yarn for this project is from Riverside Studio Yarns in color Flamingo.  A beautiful hot pink! These are both hand dyed yarns in super wash merino wool…. its very soft.

6290159661954905473I am loving the color combo – however….. When I knit it again, I’ll chose to make the main color the solid and the contrasting the speckle…… for a completely different look.

What about you, have you made the Cerulean Mist Shawl yet?  Show me your pictures!!

Any other bits & pieces going on?

My fellow knitting friend and I recently worked on reorganizing my studio space where all my knitting “stuff” lives….. Its still a work in progress…. I have a fairly large yarn stash…and since my studio is in the basement of my house, I like to keep the yarn stash in sealed tubs – which make them hard to store….  How do you store your yarn stash?  Or do you even have a yarn stash?? Once I get it to a place that’s acceptable to show you … I’ll post a picture either here on the blog or on my Instagram page.

What are you planning on making next?

I would like to continue making shawls because they are a nice lightweight summer knit, but my Etsy shop needs to be preparing for winter…..so I should probably start on my winter items….what do you think?

CrossFit is a blast

I’m still Crossfitting….many ask if I still do….I do!  This week was thrusters, wall balls, and many pushups and burpees…. I still love it and go at least three times a week!  It makes for an incredibly busy week – between working full-time, CrossFit, running, and knitting… leaves little time for cleaning, cooking, and maintaining my flowerbeds….but the hubs and I find the time when we can!

Well…back to my  knitting!

Till Then Love…Logo w handknits and new image

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Another Fiber Road Trip

 

20180526_123829My friends and I went on another road trip – to see yarn!  This time it was much closer to home.  The Great Lakes Fiber Show.  It was our first time at this venue and we hoped to see some familiar yarn vendors that we met at Pittsburgh.  It didn’t disappoint!  If you get the chance, head on out!  They have a lot going on and a lot of vendors plus its free admission and free parking.

They have workshops, competitions, and vendors.  There was fleece judging, a sheep show, loom weaving, many different vendors with yarn, finished knitted or crocheted items, spindles, hand lotions & balms, fleece, and much much more!  Go check them out, its going on today and Sunday.

What did you buy?

Well….as luck would have it, our new favorite local yarn dyer was there, Destination Yarns, and we found her first!  She had a special colorway just for the event, Farmland Sunset, and we were able to grab some!  I decided to get a green color to go with it!  Go to her website by clicking here or check out her Instagram feed by clicking here!  You can read more about how she came up with this colorway!  So fun!

 

I also bought a beautiful green color from Yarnhygge.  With each purchase you get a free pattern!  I chose the pattern ‘Short Row Shawlette’… It should be a fun quick project!!

So what else has been going on??

I just completed ‘Murph WOD’ at CrossFit.  I shaved 20min off my time from last year!

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

img_20180525_145854-1246507133.jpgI chose to break this up into segments…and modify the movements for my skill level.  It worked great and I completed it in 53minutes and change.  Also having been sick the last two and half weeks prior, I didn’t make it to the gym much…so today, my legs are still           J-E-L-L-O!!

So what is next??

Well, I have a ton of knitting ahead of me… my flower beds at home have been severely overlooked and need completely torn out and redone…and the hubs and I want to do a lot of hiking and kayaking this year….so, maybe I should take a leave of absence from my full-time job….but then, how would I buy yarn????  Guess that idea is out.  My sisters baby shower is soon…I’m holding out on making baby stuff until the little bundle is here….then I can figure out sizing better…and last but not least….continue to organize my knitting space…

Till Then Love…Logo w handknits

 

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Travel & Yarn

I missed you guys!

I’m sorry that time has gotten away from me…again! Life…it seems…is too busy for me. Last year I spent time knitting and traveling…

A Few of my adventures…

As Director for the Clan MacRae Society of North America, our annual meeting was held in Denver Colorado last year…and my husband and I have never been to Colorado and thought this would be an excellent road trip…or air trip, then road trip….

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Items on the Itinerary… attend the Long’s Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival, general meeting at the Stanley Hotel, find elk & moose, hiking in the Rockies, and find a local yarn shop (LYS)!!

During the highland games, we were one of the honored clans of the weekend…go Clan MacRae! Which meant we got to march/walk…in the parade! That was the first time I’ve ever been in a parade! Such fun!

The Rocky Mountains & Animals

Imagine….before sunrise, quietly walking through the park….waiting for the elk to appear…and you see one lone female…wading through the lake heading to meet the heard….hearing the calls of the elk and seeing them up close… all just before sunrise! It was the most amazing thing….and scary too – cause they are REALLY flippin big!

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We spent a few early mornings trying to catch a glimpse of the moose in the area, but wherever they were…we weren’t….so bummed.  We did see a herd of sheep!!!  SHEEP!!

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The hubs and I did some awesome trail hikes, took our packs, ate lunch along the trail and earned some hiking patches. At one point we were nearly caught in a thunderstorm while up in the mountains….this cross-fitter kicked up her pace and sprinted down the mountain side to get to low ground! I thoroughly enjoyed the glory of God’s great handy-work and am counting the days until we can come back again!

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So…did you find yarn??

I am happy to report – that I did find yarn! The LYS had such a great selection of local fibers. At The Stitchin Den I chose three yarns based on a cowl pattern I found there…and I chose earthy colors to remind me of the mountains….

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I chose the Vermont yarns by Tahki Stacy Charles Inc.  in colors bark, granite, and mica.  The pattern is the Quaking Aspen Cowl designed by Petra Marcelle.  You can find this pattern on Ravelry.

We met the most wonderful people and had the greatest adventure!

The mountains are AMAZING! and someday, we would like to call Colorado home!

Till then love,

Darcilla

 

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Is there Wool in Scotland?

Well…I’m back to sunny, warm weather…who takes a vacation where it rains every day and the sun occasionally makes an appearance?  I DO!!  I’m back from our vacation in Scotland!!  Yes, you read me right…SCOTLAND!

It was the trip of a lifetime!  We have been planning it for several years and finally the day came!

Why would you want to go to Scotland?

We decided to go to Scotland because my family has Scottish roots on my mother’s side.  I am also a commissioner for Clan MacRae Society of North America – I help promote and spread our family history at local Scottish Games…and in doing so, I found out that the MacRae Society in Scotland was hosting a global gathering of all MacRae’s to meet in Scotland and learn about our MacRae family history.  We knew we wanted to go…so we started to save up right away.  My husband and I also invited my mother along since it’s her family history as well…this would make her first airplane ride – EVER!  Mom was nervous but really wanted to go….and I must say…she did amazing on the plane!  She actually had a really good time and enjoyed flying!

The trip I planned was to spend some days with the MacRae Gathering and some days on our own.  There were tour groups from each society in the US, Canada, Scotland, and Australia.  We met on specific days with the tours and met some really lovely new friends…some I had already been talking with through Facebook and couldn’t wait to finally meet them!

Knitting in Scotland

I found out that you can take knitting needles on the flight!  I chose not to risk having my needles confiscated by airport security…heaven forbid they take my new bamboo cable needle!! EEK! But one of my goals was to find yarn produced by local farms in Scotland.  When I asked several people about where to find yarn…I kept getting a confused look…one of the lovely ladies that I met at the gathering is also a knitter…she clued me in that they refer to yarn as “wool” there, even if it’s not made with wool!  So once she set me straight…the search is on!  I had hoped to get so much wool…that I would be forced to leave some of my traveling clothes behind to make room for all the wool in my luggage!!!

Day One

Well, that was an incredibly long plane ride and I’m happy to be finally here and able to stand up!! Time to pick up our rental car and begin the scary drive into Edinburgh to find our B&B.  I’m so sorry that I made my poor husband do all the driving…but for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians, it is probably best…even my mother said not to let me drive!!  What does that tell you!  Driving on the left, sitting on the right, shifting with your left hand, street signs I do not understand, street names I cannot find signs for (oh, they were on the sides of buildings vs. our street sign poles), round-a-bouts – oh the round-a-bouts…can I close my eyes now??!! My husband successfully navigated and safely got us to our B&B!  Once settled in, we head out, on foot, into Edinburgh!

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Yarn…wool…where are you??

I am searching each shop we go into for some local wool…no luck…  We have seen some beautiful old buildings today, AMAZING views, and cask ale!  I love cask ale!!  (my voice is getting louder and higher pitched as I say how much I loved cask ale!)  Whisky and Haggis!!!  Score!  My legs are a little sore from walking around because nothing is flat here, which makes for great training for my upcoming 10k when I return home.

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Having my first cask ale! Loving it!

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Street signs on the sides of buildings

 

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Edinburgh Castle! AMAZING!

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At Edinburgh Castle
At Edinburgh Castle

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Walking through the gardens

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Have you ever been to Scotland? What did you enjoy most?  Let me know in the comments below!

Stay tuned for the next segments of our continued adventures in Scotland!

Till then love…